HIGHBRIDGE — An investigation dubbed "Straight Outta Highbridge" has led to the indictments of 10 men for trafficking 50 guns, including an assault rifle, into New York to sell to an undercover detective, law enforcement officials said.
Bronx brothers Marvin "Cuba" Guzman and Melwin "MG" Guzman allegedly led one of the networks that brought in semi-automatic pistols and a WASR-10, which is an assault rifle similar to an AK-47, officials said.
"They met the undercover to deliver it one week before Christmas, and they presented it to the undercover gift wrapped," said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark. "They saw such an instrument of death as just an ordinary piece of merchandise."
Kelvi "Kev" Acosta and Miguel Paredes, cousins of the Guzman brothers from Pennsylvania, are accused of transporting the guns from outside of New York to sell in The Bronx.
A wiretap on the case was authorized in March 2016 and revealed that Marvin Guzman was plotting to buy and transport an additional 30 guns from Texas with Ahmed Khan, a former Bronxite who had since moved to Katy, Texas, according to the Bronx DA's Office.
However, police arrested the Guzmans and Acosta in The Bronx shortly before the deal was set to take place after the Guzmans were stabbed on July 6 in an unrelated incident, officials said.
David Dippre has been charged in the Pennsylvania ring as well for buying guns from stores in the state that Paredes then transported to The Bronx, according to the Bronx DA's Office.
The other group of gun traffickers consisted of Georgia resident Joseph Mincey, who is accused of transporting seven guns from Georgia to Highbridge resident Bashiri "Bash" Thompson, who sold them to an undercover officer in The Bronx, officials said.
Two other Bronx residents have been charged and are awaiting arraignment, according to the Bronx DA's Office.
Charges against members of the gun trafficking rings include criminal sale of a firearm and conspiracy.
Overall, the defendants trafficked 50 weapons and more than 600 rounds of ammunition, and they were trying to bring in more, Clark said.
Most of the guns were purchased legally, although four were stolen and one was defaced, and none of them were traced back to any violence, police said.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce credited these types of investigations with reducing the amount of shootings in New York City and was especially proud that they had seized an assault rifle based on the amount of damage those weapons can cause.
"I don't have to tell anybody what kind of carnage that an AK-47 can create in the street, as we've seen in the last couple of weeks," Boyce said, referring the type of assault rifle used in the recent spree shootings in Orlando, Dallas and Baton Rogue.
"We don't usually see assault rifles in the city," he continued. "We have this one here as evidence that it could come into the city."